Following a successful fundraising drive led by student volunteers, we are breaking ground on the new playground for the Carver Community Center. The interns from New Canaan High School planned and implemented this campaign.
Carver's aging playground was built for pre-kindergarten children. What we are now building is a playground with all the latest safety and fun learning features for K-5 aged children, including a new padded surface that ties together all the pieces of our planned playground.
Ask children, “How was school today?” and you’re likely to hear about what they experienced in playtime. In Carver after school and summer programs, play can include robotics and many other hands-on project-based activities, but we never lose sight of the fundamental value of play as it’s been understood and enjoyed through the centuries.
For many children, the time on the playground represents the emotional core of their day. Whether they come home light- or heavy-hearted depends on what happened during play time. Researchers say that one of the best predictors of whether kids feel happy in school is whether they feel comfortable and competent during play.
Philosophers and child development experts have been trumpeting the importance of play for centuries. Piaget said that children discover the world through play. Friedrich Froebel, who opened the first kindergarten in 1837, called play “deeply significant.” And Plato believed that children had to grow up in an atmosphere of play to become virtuous citizens. In the face of this accumulated wisdom, we are grateful to you for helping us reimagine and recreate the playground at the Carver Community Center.
Play requires the acquisition of a complex set of skills. It’s not just about exercising or letting off steam. It’s about making agreements with others as equals, stepping into an imagined structure, and accepting that structure even when things don’t go your way. This may be why Plato considered play the ideal preparation for citizenship.
Thank you for helping us build healthy and happy citizens at Carver!